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DL AT 60 – ON THE OCCASION OF MY 60TH BIRTHDAY

4 September 2016 2,410 views 25 Comments

birthday house party one

DL AT 60: ON THE OCCASION OF MY BIRTHDAY

60…how did that happen!

60 is the new 20! As can be seen by this pic of air guitar frenzy taken here on Saturday night…

Firstly some timelines:

I was 7 years old when I first saw a live concert (The Dave Clark Five show)

9 when I first saw Tottenham Hotspur play

13 when I first heard Led Zeppelin

15 when I first started work at British Home Stores (sadly now gone)

15 when I first saw Led Zeppelin live at the Empire Pool Wembley

18 when I first started selling records at WH Smith – a career in retail that would last 35 years

18 when I saw Led Zeppelin perform five times at Earls Court

21 when I jumped on stage with The Who at Shepperton

22 when I wrote the first Tight But Loose magazine

23 when I travelled over Europe to see Led Zeppelin on what would be there final tour

24 when my first book Led Zeppelin -The Final Acclaim was published

25 when I started going out with the good lady Janet

27 when we married

34 when Sam was born,

35 when my book Led Zeppelin A Celebration was published

38 when Adam was born

46 when the Led Zeppelin DVD was premiered

51 when Led Zeppelin reunited at the 02 Arena,

53 when I was made redundant at Virgin Retail and created TBL Publishing and went self- employed

54 when I published the Feather In the Wind Over Euope 1980 book

57 when I published the revised Then As It Was Led Zeppelin at Knebworth book,

58 when I compiled the Five Glorious Nights -Led Zeppelin at Earls Court 1975 book…

59 when I wrote the liner notes for the forthcoming Complete BBC Sessions

My 59th year has included the landmark publication of TBL 40 and 41 and as mentioned above, the absolute privilege of being asked to write the liner notes for the forthcoming Complete BBC Sessions

Once again, forgive me the indulgence but here are some DL birthday at 60 reflections:

Some things I’ve learned at 60…

Life sounds better to music…

It’s a great life this life of music – to paraphrase the late great Ahmet…

Records are good for the soul…

Darren’s Vinyl Barn is a very good place to be on Fridays!

Led Zeppelin got it right with the title of track two side one of Led Zeppelin III – I am blessed with many…

Passion is infectious….

Heritage is a great thing…

British Pubs are great places to be coveted…
I have a great affinity for the great British pub – I do seem to be pictured many times with a pint of Fosters in my hand -but it’s not just that they serve alcohol – I love the differing atmosphere, the lay out –the sheer tradition of the British pub. Too many are closing of course which is a terrible shame. Those that remain should be coveted.

My hometown is a comforting place to be…

You cannot please all the people all the time…

When it comes to the love of a wife and family – I’m a multi millionaire…

birthday party sept 3 late

……………………

So I’m 60 today which is a ridiculous notion when I think back to say seeing Zep at Earls Court which seems like a second ago ..but a lifetime.

Back in 1975, anyone I knew of the age of nigh on 60 would have been considered ancient.

Now I am at that age, well I don’t feel ancient and in my mind I still feel 20 – and those who saw my enthusiastic air guitar performance here on Saturday night might agree!

Plainly physically, I am not of that age now as was demonstrated on the recent bike ride when I took a slight tumble!
My Diabetes 2 condition also need monitoring. However, I do certainly try and demonstrate a zest for life and stay young at heart..

The fact is though, none of us are getting any younger -the days really are to cherish and with health issues to contend with and the usual daily grind, it isn’t always easy – it isn’t all smiles and there are often tears behind the smiles…we have had some challenges this past year here not least with the sad passing of Janet’s mum Betty however during such times, the inspiration of family and friends becomes ever important and valued.

Like i said track two side one of Led Zeppelin III is a big mantra of mine ….Friends….

And music – always music… and a whole lotta retro…

This is the ingredient that has forged so many like minded friendships over the past five decades.

And Led Zeppelin…

I may be a chronicler of their work in a professional capacity – as that is how I make a living through the TBL magazine, books etc…but fundamentally I am a fan – and that is the way it’s been since 1969…

Elsewhere -as is plainly evident, my tastes were formulated in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s and have remained pretty constant ever since.

My working in the music retail sector for 35 years did open my ears to a lot of other music I would not have come into contact with. My appreciation of Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis was nurtured during that era. Selling over the counter all the fads of the 70s ,80s and 90s – everything from the Bay City Rollers through the Police, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet,Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Culture Club, Pet Shop Boys ,and on to the 90s Britpop Blur, Oasis etc, put me in direct line with all that and I have a quaint affection for a fair bit of that stuff –not that I own much of it but if I hear something on the radio from that time it can prompt a warm memory for sure .

I also grew up in the glory era of soul and Motown and anything from that period resonates ie Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Jackson Five – in fact only last week we attended a hugely enjoyable soul night disco in one of the nearby pubs with our good friends Max and Julie.

Way back in the late 70s I did enjoy the punk onslaught of which the good stuff ie Sex Pistols/Clash still sounds strong. Through my good friend Dec I was also exposed to a lot of the new wave/electronic early 80s movement such as Joy Division/New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes etc. My collection is also littered with quirky oddities – I have a fair few speech based albums (Kennedy, Churchill,Hancock,That was the Week That Was ) and TV and film collections and soundtracks. I also love those sampler albums from the late 70s such as Island Records You Can All Join In, Nice Enough to eat,Bumpers etc.

So music remains all encompassing. Playing it, writing about it, reading about it- Absolutely so –it’s my DNA –simple as that.

For me it’s about albums, songs, vocalists, emotion, composition, dynamics, light and shade…and the usual suspects continue to fill that premise and inspire so step forward the likes of:

You could say it’s a whole lotta retro but that’s the way I like it. There’s always a fair few CDs and LP’s in the ”To listen to’’ pile and more to unravel and enjoy.

Then there is vinyl…lovely long playing vinyl – the LP – the record… the seven inch single…the 45…

Whilst I still collect CD’s –recent acquisitions have been The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers and the recent Bad Company reissues –and I am eying up the just released new Faces/Rod five CD box set – it’s vinyl that tends to dominate here…
Oh yes vinyl – the collecting of vinyl albums and singles continues to be a real passion – ever increasingly so!
As my good friend Dec notes I seem to be on a quest to invest in every rock album released sine 1968 –it’s not quite as bad as that but boy do I love re connecting with the long playing format.

Big time.

So what is the attraction?

birthday witn vinyl

Well for me in an ever changing technological social media driven world,the LP and single record is a true bastion of past values – values to be held on to and cherished. Vinyl is the true everlasting music carrying format.
The sleeve art work, the size, the tangible feel, the smell..and the sound – living breathing vinyl grooves…and of course that most comforting of sounds…the initial surface noise as the needle hits the vinyl…sheer bliss in my world…and countless others – note least of course one James Patrick Page – I have been fortunate enough to see his own passion for record buying at close quarters

For me every vinyl album I acquire tells a story – the historical significance of the label and pressing and of course the music itself and where I was at when I first heard it.

Most of my collecting concentrates on the golden age of the 1960s and 70s –when I was growing up and discovering music for myself. Indeed part of my vinyl quest is to buy back LP’s I either foolishly sold or lost along the way.
I am also a sucker for great artwork and label designs. I love collecting anything on the Atlantic UK plum and orange label with it’s Zep heritage, and labels such as Apple, Vertigo, Immediate and Island. To me these label designs are pure works of art.
Of course anything on Swan Song Records is eagerly snapped up too.
I have acquired some great Swan Song promo pressings in the past year as well as various foreign Led Zep pressings. I would have actually had one or two more Zep foreign rarities but knowing of Jimmy’s passion for the same area of collecting, I have occasionally bought to his attention some Zep rarities I’ve seen at record fairs we have both been at. Rather than invest myself, I have graciously passed them over to the guitarist. Well, after all he did create the music on them!

Oh and add to that the seven inch single…
This past couple of years has seen me get right back into collecting singles. The quest being to snap up the singles I would have purchased in the years 1969 to 1972 had I had the required cash to do so.

In the collecting of vinyl there are many bargains to be had – with a keen eye for a bargain I rarely pay over a tenner for anything and mostly under £5. I have something of a deft touch at searching out gems in local charity shops .
In London, there’s Fopp in Cambridge Circus, Sister Ray and Reckless Records in Berwick Street continue to come up with some great stuff. Then there’s the London Olympia and Victoria record fairs and Spitalfields market. The nearby Hitchin market is another good source as is Empire Records in St Albans and Wax Factor and Across the Tracks in Brighton.

Significantly, in Bedford, Darren Harte has established his Vinyl Barn stall on Bedford market on Friday’s as something of a weekly vinyl haven. I am there most Friday mornings checking the new arrivals – and Darren continues to come up with interesting fresh retro stuff.

Amongst my gang, Tom, Phil and Dec are also vinyl enthusiasts particularly Tom who like me is also an avid vinyl collector and we can often be heard discussing the fascinating minutiae of rare vinyl pressings on the Vertigo label etc etc – or ‘’talking bollocks’’ as some of our ladies are prone to comment on – but hey it’s what we do!

Pete Burridge, Mat Roberts and Dave Crane are fellow local vinyl enthusiasts who have the vinyl buzz and our finds are often on our respective Facebook pages..
Rarely a week goes by where I do not pick up one or two items – the downside is of course they do take up some considerable room as the good lady Janet often reminds me!

Right…I am a man of lists..so let’s do some lists:

Let’s finish the DL 60 at 60 Countdown first: These were in no particular order b- this was the final run in..

The Gigs: At number 1..
LED ZEPPELIN – O2 ARENA DECEMBER 10 2007

My initial thoughts the next day…for TBL

Back From Planet Zeppelin in seventh heaven

Just got back from Planet Zeppelin. That’s the only appropriate phrase to describe the incredible vibe that has prevailed at the Millennium Dome / O2 over the past two days.
Where to start?
The wonderful camaraderie of fans that extended from the queues for tickets / merchandise /gig entry over to the Pilot Inn pub which really was pure TBL come a live Sunday night and yesterday afternoon and early evening. So many people that came so far on another blind date.
And yes seeing was believing. Again.
The atmosphere was electric as we queued to go in. A call from home revealed I’d been on the national BBC 6 o’clock news being interviewed in the build up. It was all happening.

I had an excellent view stage left to the side – it was great to see Kevyn Gammond, Bob Harris and Justin Adams all in attendance in my block. The performance: full of the integrity, humility, emotion and power that characterised the glory days. And this might just be their most glorious day ever.

So many highlights: The opening thrust of Good Times / Ramble and Black Dog. In My Time Of Dying still pure bottleneck banshee with Jason’s incredibly powerful bass drum kicks… For Your Life an absolutely outstanding performance – one of my all time fave tracks finally given the live treatment it so deserved. Page, Jonesy and Jason grooving incessantly down on that plangent riff. Trampled…. another pure groove with Robert so on it as he was all night.
A Nobody’s Fault But Mine with all the stop start dynamism of the original and what an intro….No Quarter with the added touch of dry ice and Jimmy’s theremin hand signals…Since I’ve Been Loving You more fluency from Page… Dazed And Confused compact and concise and the revolving lasers during the bow episode reviving memories of Knebworth.

Stairway…have to say I completely lost it at that point and tears streamed down my face all the way through this and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
‘’Hey Ahmet…we did’’

The Song Remains The Same lifted the tempo back up and was just magnificent. Misty Mountain Hop before which Jason sang the opening lines of I Can’t Quit You Baby kept the pace.
“There’s people here from 50 countries….here’s a song about the 51st”

Then blam! A version of Kashmir that engulfed the entire dome. The undoubted pride of Zeppelin sung with such intensity by Robert. “Fucking awesome” as Noel Gallagher described to me later.
They were back for Whole Lotta Love and again for a rousing (can it be anything else?) Rock And Roll before which Jimmy thanked everyone for an amazing night. At the end of it all Plant threw down the mic, they took a final bow ,Plant offered a final tribute to Ahmet and this utterly immortal night was over.

Thank you James Patrick for an amazing night.

Yes the sound mix took a while to settle in, and a few cues got missed notable in Since I’ve Been Loving You, but hey they were, are and always will be tight but loose.
Suffice to say this was one of the greatest nights of my life and probably thousands of others in the O2 Arena. John Aizlewood in the Evening Standard said it all with his testament:
“It was breathtaking and spine tingling – as good as popular music gets”

The newspaper reviews have been united in their praise today which has been a joy to see.

Right now Led Zeppelin must be the most popular band in the world.
Final thoughts: Jason throughout was exemplary capturing all the full throttle thwack required to support the power that surged from the stage. JPJ was typically JPJ, diligent in all his playing but totally unmissable. The backdrop screen projections – absolutely stunning. Well done Thinkfarm (hi Mike!) – and Jimmy’s Zoso symbol returning to his amp was a neat touch.

Thanks to so many fans who came from all parts of the globe who considerably enhanced this experience of a lifetime for me.
Right I’m off to be bed…it’s back to reality and retail frenzy in the morning.

So yesterday they were Led Zeppelin. Now today they are once again Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham.

Tomorrow and beyond… who knows ?
One thing is for certain – their performance at the O2 Arena on December 10 2007 has created rock history. No other band could have staged such an event as this phenomenal tribute to dear Ahmet.
Dave Lewis December 11 2007

The Singles –at number 1

TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT – LED ZEPPELIN (1975)
In the spring of 1975 the marketing team of WEA approached Led Zeppelin’s record label Swan Song with an idea for a special limited edition UK single. Their plan was to extract two tracks from the band’s recent one double album Physical Graffiti coupling Trampled Underfoot, the incessant clavinet led Stevie Wonder influenced funk rocker backed with the semi acoustic Black Country Woman. This single would be offered as an incentive for record dealers to stock up with the Zeppelin catalogue to tie in with their five sold out dates at London’s Earl’s Court Arena. Surprisingly given his past reputation for a no singles in the UK policy, Zep’s manager Peter Grant gave the idea his backing.
WEA reps were duly sent off with their order books and instructed to offer a twenty unit pack of previous Zep albums to record shops -the deal being for every pack of albums ordered the shops would receive five singles to dispose of as they wished.
Very luckily I worked in the WH Smith record department and one or two copies came my way a few days before the Earls Court shows. It remains one of most treasured singles.

The Albums –at number 2

EARLS COURT VOL 1 AND 2 – LED ZEPPELIN
I got these bootleg beauties about a year after the May 24 1975 Earls Court gig – fantastic aural souvenirs of the greatest of gigs.

The Singles at number 2

STAY YOUNG – OASIS
Great record from Oasis – the sentiment ‘’Stay young and invincible’’ is an admirable one but after a long night with the boys last night I feel a little fragile !

The Singles at number 3

FRIENDS – ARRIVAL

Superb version of the Terry Reid tune and a hit that revives memories of early 1970 – a time in my life when football in Jubilee Park, Top Of The Pops on Thursdays and Match Of The Day on Saturday nights was all that mattered.
Oh and the theme of the song – Friends..that’s is what it’s all about…tonight I will be out with some of the finest..

The gigs: at number 3

LED ZEPPELIN EARLS COURT MAY 24 1975
My friend Good Dec had queued up for these tickets for this one over night when they went on sale in March. Seven of us went from Bedford (Hi Dec,Tom and Phil!) We went shopping in Oxford Street where I brought a pair of hip mirror shades for the Lorret holiday to follow. Then it was over to Earls Court in the afternoon – one of our crew Gary Felts had made a top hat ala Slade’s Noddy Holder with Zep photos around it which got plenty of attention in the pub beforehand.

boys-EC
So into the arena – walking along the aisles and up to the front of the stage, well you can imagine the feeling. We were just so close to Bonzo’s drum kit-and the amp set up. It was so amazing. I was second row to the right of the stage – Jimmy was literally a few yard way. We posed for a photo in front of the stage before the show.
So what can I say – being in such close proximity to one of the highest profile gigs Led Zeppelin ever performed, well it was beyond compare really.
Images ingrained on my brain for 35 years: Watching Jimmy slither across the stage as they hit Sick Again, Plant seemingly lost in a trance right in front of us as Page did the solo in Over The Hills, dry ice seeping above us over the front rows in No Quarter (should have bottled it –imagine that on ebay!), Jimmy holding the Gibson double neck aloft during the Song Remains intro, the stand up microphones being brought out for the four part harmony of Tangerine, being so close to them clustered together for the acoustic set (incidentally listen to the various soundboard bootlegs – just before Going To California Robert introduces the song saying ‘’This is a song about the would be hope for the ultimate…for the ultimate’’ – after which you can hear a distant yelled squeal just before somebody starts whistling – that’s my squeal folks), Trampled Underfoot and the revolving lighting creating a real sense of speed, the normally reserved Dec next to me going crazy in a manner I’ve not seen since, Page’s violin bow and going ”Ahhh’! as the lasers spiralled above us. The last few moments of Stairway as the mirrorball created that swirling spinning effect and thinking I must have died and gone to heaven!
The Whole Lotta Love encore included James Brown’s Sex Machine ad-libs and Let Your Love Light Shine On Me.
The encores with the neon sign lighting up…Plant strutting over to our side in Black Dog and looking straight at us and smiling.
It was just too much. We left in a dazed state -how could we not – we had just seen Led Zeppelin at the ultimate vantage point. Nothing else mattered right then.
Certainly not rushing for the train. We predictably missed the last one back and slept on the station amongst several disgruntled Scotsman –sore at the 5-1 England defeat.
Finally it was back to Bedford at 8am. The party was drawing to an end, but there was a final memorable date with Earls Court remaining…and one that really would cement for all time my addiction for this band
The pic is in front of the stage – me Dec Phil & Gary Felts. Dec and Phil and Tom who took the pic will be out with me tonight..we will have a toast to recall this night somewhere along the way!

The Albums: At number 3

PRESENCE – LED ZEPPELIN
I have a fair few pressings of this album – this one is signed by Aubrey Powell of the Hipgnosis design team.
Presence is the Page-driven Led Zeppelin as a pure unadulterated rock and roll band firing in the studio as never before… and as they never would again. It’s also the nearest they ever got to capturing, over a complete album, the unpredictable edge and power of their on-stage performances within a studio environment.

This is the fragility and vulnerability of Led Zeppelin laid bare for all to hear -. Presence gets to the real heart and soul of the band and there is so much to admire.

The Albums: at number 4

REMASTERS – LED ZEPPELIN

Game changing compilation – upon its release in October 1990 this renewed their legacy almost overnight and there was no looking back. I have fantastic memories of selling up this box set release in the Our Price shop in Bedford – for which I was awarded a triple gold disc by the UK record company.

The Gigs..at number 4

LED ZEPPELIN – EARLS COURT MAY 23 1975
So imagine waking up on a Friday morning with the prospect of over nine hours of live Led Zeppelin in store over the next three days.
Talk about the weekend starts here!
But that was the treat in store as I went to catch the train on Friday May 23rd for EC gig 3. Earlier I’d had a passport photo taken in a booth in town suitably dressed in Earls Court T shirt and looking dazed and confused at the prospect of nine hours of live Led Zep ahead. (see pic here) I was due to fly out with Dec, Tom Phil etc for our first holiday abroad to sunny Loret De Mar at the end of the month.

After the frantic pace of attending the two first gigs, Friday seemed a much more relaxed affair and I took much more in. The weather was good too and beforehand we drank a bottle of wine in Hyde Park. Then it was to SW8. The view this time was the opposite side to last week and we scrambled down a few tiers taking some empty seats. A full on if slightly distant but clear view on Jonesy’s side. From the moment Plant gave out an excited Immigrant Song ”Aha ah” squeal as Bonzo and Jimmy did the usual warm up, well it was so evident they were up for it. Fashion note: For this night only Robert wore the cherry wrap around shirt he’d favoured on most of the ’75 American tour.

And they were just so up for it, as evident right from the moment when Plant gave out an excited Immigrant Song-style “Ah ah” squeal as Bonzo and Jimmy did the usual pre-song warm up. Following Rock And Roll and Sick Again Plant attracted huge cheers when he explained: “Last week we did a couple of warm up dates for these three nights, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We believe that these were the first three gigs to be sold out so these must be the ones with the most energy stored up because you’ve been waiting…”

The energy was indeed phenomenal…and there was still two more gigs to go!
The Singles: at number 4

GLAD ALL OVER – DAVE CLARK FIVE (1963)

The first band I fell in love with – it was the drum kit that did it.

In the light of my 60 at 60 Countdowns – here’s some snap shot top fives drawn from those lists:

5 Favourite Led Zeppelin Albums

1: Physical Graffiti

2: Presence

3: Led Zeppelin 3

4: Led Zeppelin 4

5: Led Zeppelin 2

The top two are fairly constant –the remaining three reflecting a current craving for early Zep. All these LP’s have one common denominator. They sound like they were recorded last week – ie fresh and vital…

5 Favourite Led Zeppelin Tracks

1: Achilles Last Stand

2: All My Love (extended ending outtake)

3: In The Light

4: Ramble On

5: Out On The Tiles

Again the top two are rooted in the DL Zep pleasure psyche. No Kashmir or Stairway?…Try me again next week…

5 Favourite Led Zeppelin Gigs Attended

1: Earls Court – May 24th 1975

2: Cologne – June 18th 1980

3: Empire Pool Wembley – November 21st 1971

4: Knebworth – August 4th 1979

5: 02 Arena – December 10th 2007

Now that is some line up – defining concerts from the defining band.

5 Favourite Led Zeppelin Bootlegs

1: To Be A Rock & Not To Roll – Earls Court May 24th 1975

2: Live On Blueberry Hill

3: Going To California

4: Listen To This Eddie

5: Live In Japan 1971 -A Cellarful Of Noise

The recorded moments to back up the above statement. More defining performances that offer many examples of the Zep in concert craft.

Favourite Zep Related Solo Albums:

1: Fate Of Nations –Robert Plant

2: Band of Joy –Robert Plant

3: No Quarter Unledded –Jimmy Page & Robert Plant

4: Coverdale –Page –Coverdale Page

5: Zooma –John Paul Jones

Fate is the album I go back to most from the solo output -I think it paved the way for a real purity in his vocal delivery that led to his recent ongoing achievements

Favourite Zep Related Solo Gigs Attended

1: Jimmy Page /Robert Plant Unledded London Studios August 1994

2: Jimmy Page/Robert Plant –Meadowlands Arena April 1995

3:Robert Plant & The Band of Joy –Roundhouse October 2010

4: Jimmy Page –Arms Concert – Royal Albert Hall September 1983

5: Julie Felix &John Paul Jones – Borders April 2002

Some amazing nights in their company…

5 Favourite Non Related Zep Gigs Attended

1: The Who Shepperton Studios – May 1978

2: Pete Townshend – Rainbow Theatre July 1979

3: The Rolling Stones Empire Pool – Wembley Sept 1973

4: Bob Dylan Blackbushe – July 1978

5: Midnight Blue – Civic Theatre Bedford – August 1989

The Who have been the second best live act I’ve seen – By the way Midnight Blue were a melodic rock band in the Thunder mode who looked set to break through in the late 80s. Sadly it didn’t happen. Shame as they were a great band. Tom and I promoted that gig in aid of Great Ormond Street hospital.

5 Favourite Non Zep Related Albums

1: Who’s Next – The Who

2: Let it Bleed –The Rolling Stones

3: Ooh La La –The Faces

4: All Things Must Pass – George Harrison

5: Crosby Stills & Nash – Crosby Stills & Nash
Sheer perfection on these lasting pleasures.

Favourite Non Zep Related Acts of all time:

1: The Rolling Stones

2: The Beatles

3: The Who

4: Crosby Stills Nash & Young

5: Bob Dylan

This could also change a bit if I sat down next week and thought about it again ..

5 Favourite Singles of all time

1: You Can Make Me Dance Sing or Anything – Rod Stewart/Faces

2: Brown Sugar –The Rolling Stones

3: Theme From Shaft –Isaac Hayes

4: Speak Like A Child –Style Council

5: Stay Young – Oasis (B side)

Each of these classic 45s ignite instant memories of where I was and where I was at when they were first hits.

5 Favourite Vocalists:

1: Robert Plant

2: John Lennon

3: Elvis Presley

4: Rod Stewart

5: Frank Sinatra

Voices of passion, strength and dignity

…………..

birthday party sept 3

We have had a wonderful few days here – with Dec back for the weekend – Friday we had a night out with former players of our team The Wallbangers.

Saturday night we had a pre birthday gathering here which turned into a fantastic occasion. It was great to see Gary and Carol Foy and son Jimmy. Sam was back too for the weekend. Our good friends Max and Julie set the tone arriving in masks of two rather well known faces! birthday the masks!

Yesterday we chilled out a bit ready for today – the plan is to maybe have something to eat lunchtime -tonight there is a gathering of friends over at the local White Horse pub to celebrate the big 60 –  the excellent local musician Mat Roberts will be staging an open mic night.

There’s something of a birthday aftermath at the Victoria Record Fair – we will be at the fair and over the nearby pub The  The Royal Oak,  2 Regency Street, Pimlico. I look forward to seeing all those that can make it along.

Sincere thanks for all the birthday wishes that have come my way so far…I think it’s going to get quite overwhelming during the next few hours.

60 is here and it’s ever onward…

Dave Lewis – September 5  2016.

…………

YouTube Clip: DL on that night of nights…

……………………..

Until next time…have a great weekend,

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – September 5 , 2016.

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25 Comments »

  • John Thomson said:

    Hi Dave, first off, happy Birthday and well done on not only reaching your 60th but as always well and on your count down – it has been fun to read (although surprised Bowie didn’t make your top singers or albums (although it’s a hard choice anyway). I have been a TBL fan for around 6 years now living in Melbourne Australia (sometimes you have published on your site some of my comments such as the TOP 5 Stairway to Heavens as well as my view on the Remasters last year (commenting on Pink Floyd have let the side down, although the new 27 disc coming out in Nov makes up for that) Anyway, I am coming to England with my family next week (my wife is English). I have managed to get a ticket for the David Gilmore concert on the 25th and will be in London for just over a day by myself. When I look up Vinyl shops in London, of course there are heaps! Could you recommend, say 2 that are somewhere near the Royal Albert Hall?

  • Ian D said:

    The passion, the knowledge, all driven by that beat. Congrats on hitting a new demograph and having the skill and wisdom to look back upon previous rings of the spiral. Ramble on Dave.

  • MOK said:

    Dave – either you have turned me onto all the music I now know and love, or we have a mental connection and coincidence when it comes to all non-Zep albums and singles we each rate highest! I think I first heard Let It Bleed on my dad’s vinyl the year before I ever bought A Celebration – the bit where Gimme Shelter echoes out of the speakers getting ever louder still sends shivers – so I’m going with the latter option! All the best belatedly for your big Celebration Day. Ever onwards, Matt

  • Keith said:

    Many Happy Returns Dave!

    Here’s to the next 60…..

    Keep Rocking,

    Keith.

  • Chris Serratella said:

    Many Happy returns, Mr. Lewis. The Final Acclaim, still my fave rave Zep book!

  • Wools said:

    Dave,
    Belated birthday wishes from across the pond! Wishing you the very best! You are a gem and I will always be grateful for the years of reading pleasure that you have provided. Hoping that some day you will be visiting Las Vegas and I can meet you at a pub for a few brews!

    Wools

  • Pete Leigh said:

    Well done dave.
    Just one things – all of my love instead of I’m gonna crawl?? You sure?

  • Ray said:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dave ! All the best on your milestone occasion, like you I will soon be a sexagenarian. But remember what they say Dave ‘Growing old is mandatory;Growing up is optional’. Keep the flame ignited and enjoy your Celebrations.

    Keep on Rockin

    Ray

  • Swin said:

    Happy 60th Dave, have been subscribing since 1994 & had the pleasure of meeting you in New York for the meadowlands gig in ’95 . Always a gent , best wishes again !

  • Jeff Drumheller said:

    Happy Birthday, Dave.
    May your health be stellar and the years kind.
    Congratulations on this milestone and here’s to many more years of good health, family, friends and your excellent work as a chronicler of the greatest band ever.

  • Tony Crowley said:

    Top, top man

  • Dave said:

    Dave, ever onward indeed! Happy birthday my friend and many thanks for all of your tireless effort and enthusiasm!

    Loved your comments…vinyl is indeed still the best way to listen to the music, and Fate of Nations (and its plethora of b-sides/extra tracks) is definitely Robert Plant’s finest solo hour…I would give Coverdale Page the nod over the No Quarter project however… 😉

    Again, Happy 60th, and as Jimmy might say, Rock On!

    Larry

  • Gary Davies said:

    Keep the celebrations going….Dave, there’s not many nicer people than you in this world.
    A very happy 60th. Onward ever onward…

  • Cliff said:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dave!
    If ever you want a good reason to play more Led Zeppelin and celebrate your 60th, then I suggest you play “Ten Years Gone” 10 times.
    See you Saturday for another vinyl “fix”.
    All the best
    Cliff

  • Matt Walsh said:

    Happy Birthday Dave!!

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Jenzi said:

    Dave, this was a fantastic read!! Again…thanks SO much for all you do and hope you’re having an absolutely glorious day, with MANY more to come!

  • Nils W. said:

    Hi Dave,

    Congratulations! Thank you for carrying on the flame and spirit of LZ.
    You better be ready for a pint when I reach your beloved England next time!
    Love from Denmark – Nils W.

  • Brendan Castle said:

    Happy Birthday Dave! I remember back in the early 80’s I found a book called “the final acclaim”… I’m still with you!

    Keep rockin’

    Brendan Castle
    Troy, N.Y.

  • del said:

    Happy birthday Dave and here’s to many more !!!!!! Come On You Spurs

  • Albert Borg said:

    Dave. Congratulations & Best Wishes to you on your special Birthday. Savour the moment & Enjoy. You deserve it!

  • Steve A. Jones said:

    Birthday greetings to Dave Lewis from The Land of the Rising Bootleg Labels. I am ecstatic that you are still chronicling and surrounded by laughter and love as you turn 60. Continuing demand for your optimism and insight is truly unprecedented!

  • Detlef said:

    Hi Dave,
    my best regards for your round birthday and above all health and still of much wide experiences with our group Led Zeppelin.

  • Ian in NZ said:

    Happy birthday!

  • Michel said:

    Hi Dave, I wish you my best regards for your BIRTHDAY and thanks so much for the devotion and love you give to LED ZEPPELIN. You share it with us and this wonderful.
    Eye thank you,
    Michel

  • Michael said:

    Dave,

    Wow! Another wonderful piece. Once again displaying the energy of a 16 year old, with the wisdom of a 60 year old! Happy birthday … and thanks for all you do to keep the Zeppelin spirit alive!

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